City law firm Bates Wells has urged the Home Office to urgently help lawyers, academics and activists in Afghanistan, as the crisis in the country continues.
The firm called on the government to take on board recommendations made in a joint letter by the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) and the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (ACAA).
They wrote that lawyers, judges, writers, academics, artists and human rights activists, should be included in the list of high risk groups eligible for evacuation.
“There are huge numbers of people who remain at risk in Afghanistan,” said Chetal Patel, immigration partner at Bates Wells.
“The categories of eligible people for evacuation and re-settlement needs to be expanded,” Patel continued.
“The current criteria are creating problems for multi-generational Afghan families who may be financially dependent on the person who is being evacuated. These family members, who are at risk of becoming destitute, should also be considered for evacuation.”
The news follows legal groups calls for the UK government to offer asylum to female judges and other legal professionals in the Afghanistan, where it is estimated there are at least 250 female judges.
In January this year two female judges working for the Afghan supreme court were shot dead in Kabul, according to widespread reports.
The judges were attacked in a court vehicle on their way to their office, Ahmad Fahim Qaweem, a spokesperson for the supreme court, told the Guardian.